OUR VIEW: Dump the streetcar idea

Jul 28 2011 - 8:43pm

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$80 million ride
$80 million ride

The Ogden City Council should cancel plans to have consult GB Arrington, of Portland, Ore-based PB Placemaking Inc., waste time and money trying to determine whether a Junction City streetcar system can provide money and federal funding.

The cold, hard truth is this: there's no money to have a streetcar in Ogden. It doesn't matter whether a hypothetical streetcar system runs up 23rd Street, 25th Street or 31st Street, etc. It's finished. Ogden does not have the means to pay $80 million to build a streetcar system, nor can it afford $2.3 million in annual operating expenses.

Sometimes, you gotta know when to throw in the cards.

Streetcars may look like fun and they have a lot of adherents for various routes, but having one in Ogden is completely outside of reality. In fact, the lack of passengers we see in Ogden's free streetcar "shuttle" that runs downtown makes us wonder if Junction City is really a good fit for alternative transportation. We doubt that people who get off the train station in Ogden are ready to jump to a streetcar (or gondola). We have buses and other modes of transportation for commuters.

If the city council can pull the plug on a project that economic circumstances will not support, we have a suggestion that would cost less. Why not consider the idea of a city bike path for residents and visitors?

The city could also rent bicycles to those wanting to bicycle through our beautiful city, whether for work, play or tourism. We have a lot of outdoor recreation activities in Junction City that a well-used bike path would complement.

The city council will discuss the streetcar issue on Aug. 23. We urge residents to let the council know it's no use scrutinizing an issue that is dead.

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